Intel Israel nearly doubled its exports in the past year, increasing by $2.7 billion to reach $6.6 billion in 2019, a figure that represents 12.5 percent of Israel’s total high-tech exports for the year, according to the company’s newly published Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 (Hebrew). Intel Israel also indicated that over the course of 2019, it made $1.8 billion of local procurement in Israel, purchasing materials and services from Israeli suppliers (up from $1.5 billion in 2018.)
As the largest private employer in the country, Intel Israel said it added nearly 1,000 jobs in 2019 and now employs 13,750 people across the country, including over 1,000 from Mobileye, the autonomous driving tech company Intel bought in 2017 for over $15 billion.
Intel Israel also released a number of corporate commitments it hopes to meet over the next decade as part of Intel’s overall corporate responsibility strategy and goals published last month including collaborations in health and safety, pandemic preparedness, carbon-neutral computing, and increased inclusion of women and minorities in senior roles.
Intel Israel said it currently spends NIS 250 million ($72 million) with diversified businesses and will double this amount to NIS 700 million (approximately $200 million) by 2030. It also announced it was launching a new training program next month to support 100 Israeli businesses owned by women, minorities, or situated outside Israel’s central region where more business and tech activity occurs.
Currently, women make up 25 percent of Intel Israel’s workforce and it hopes to increase the rate of women in tech positions to 40 percent with continued scholarship offers and empowerment programs such as Boost Your Career. In addition, Intel Israel said it will launch a separate program called “AI for youth” as part of a global project to equip over 30 million people with AI skill. A pilot of the program will open in September in four towns and is set to expand later to additional schools across Israel.
Intel Israel is also embarking on a number of sustainable projects including a commitment to purchase 100 percent of the energy it uses from renewable sources, send zero waste to landfills, and advance rehabilitation of water sources through funding, publishing a call for proposals for such projects from external parties. Intel Israel says that currently, 50 percent of the electricity it consumes is generated via green technologies and hope to implement a circular economy strategy on 60 percent of the waste it generates.
“The goals to which Intel Israel has committed to in our Corporate Responsibility Report for 2019-2020 are very ambitious,” said Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel. “They reflect our strong ambition, willingness and need to take the lead in collaborations that will address the challenges no one can overcome alone.”
Bella Abrahams, director of corporate affairs at Intel Israel, said the publication of the report was “a special landmark” that recaps “a decade of unprecedented accomplishments we are proud of and ushers a new decade, in which we strive to stretch ourselves even higher.
“As a company that attaches strong importance to transparency, the annual report serves the complete information of Intel Israel’s work. We look forward to continuing leading the Israeli high tech industry in technological innovation, as well as in impactful social initiatives,” she added.
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Intel began operating in Israel in 1974 and has said that its investments in the Israeli economy have totaled over $35 billion since then.
Intel Israel operates several sites across Israel, including the manufacturing site in Kiryat Gat, the development center in Haifa, the design and development center in Petach Tikva for the development of components and software in the cellular communications market, and a design and development center in Yakum in central Israel which provides chipsets for mobile platforms.
Last month, Intel acquired public transit data company Moovit for $900 million to move Mobileye “closer to achieving its plan to become a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services, which is forecast to be an estimated $160 billion opportunity by 2030.” Intel has said that Mobileye is a growth engine for Intel as the Jerusalem-based company “transforms for a world where the exponential growth of data fuels demand for technology solutions that can process, move and store more data faster.”
That deal came on the heels of Intel’s acquisition of Israeli startup Habana Labs, a developer of artificial intelligence processors, for $2 billion in December 2019.
Intel’s investment arm, Intel Capital, is also a leading corporate investor in the Israeli high-tech ecosystem.
Last year, Intel launched a new accelerator program in Israel called Ignite for early-stage startups focused on data-centric tech, including artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems. The program hosts between 10-15 pre-seed to seed startups for five months, where they receive mentorship from Intel and industry experts in a variety of product, business, and management and technical areas.
Ignite is in the midst of working with its second cohort in a process that was moved entirely online in the wake of the global pandemic.